Wednesday, May 29, 2024

De Lima calls for law banning cops, families from e-sabong business

Re-electionist senator Leila M. de Lima underscored the need for a legislation banning police officials and their families from being involved in e-sabong operations or any gambling business.

De Lima said the new e-sabong franchises acquired by police officials or their families will only result in the further corruption of the entire police force under the veneer of engaging in a legitimate business.

“PNP officials and their families should be banned from holding any interest in e-sabong or any gambling business. This must be one of the proposals for legislation after a PNP official — the NCRPO Drug Enforcement Unit Chief — admitted before the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs that his wife is a shareholder of a company engaged in E-sabong,” she said in her dispatch from Camp Crame.

“This reality of police officials having vested interests in gambling businesses presents a new scourge to our social order, simply because of the glaring conflict of interest in a situation where our peace officers and law enforcers will prioritize the protection of their own business interests over the performance of their duty to serve and protect the citizenry,” she added.

Before the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs ended its probe last April 18 on the missing persons allegedly involved in e-sabong, Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said they received information that the wife of Police Lt. Col. Ryan Jay Orapa, the NCRPO Drug Enforcement Unit Chief, is a shareholder of POV Security Agency, Inc. which has an existing contract with the Pitmaster Group.

The Pitmaster Group is a licensed electronic sabong company previously linked to the Lucky 8 Star Quest Inc. of businessman Atong Ang.

Notably, e-sabong has been connected with disappearances, potential killings, and illegal gambling. De Lima was among the first to call for the investigation of the case of the missing sabungeros.

The lawmaker said police officials engaged in e-sabong operations is no different from police protection of illegal jueteng operators.

“The police generals and colonels are no longer beholden to the government or to the people they serve, but to the jueteng lords and e-sabong magnates,” she said.

“Surely, this will only fast track our descent into becoming a gambling mafia state where the PNP’s loyalty is no longer to the people and the country, but to the powerful gambling billionaires who have them in their pockets,” she added.

De Lima maintained that there is nothing innocent in a police official or his wife engaging in the business of e-sabong, stressing that the police are supposed to fight crime, not contribute to its proliferation.

“Gambling lords favor recruitment of the police into their business because the latter’s law enforcement powers is used to protect what is essentially a socially repugnant but lucrative enterprise that invites the proliferation of other criminal activities and vices. Hence, the conflict of interest,” she said.


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